Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Margaret Nofzinger on Tracking Fertility

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Margaret Nofzinger on Tracking Fertility

Article excerpt

The natural signs of fertility can easily be missed or misinterpreted, even if you know the methods for detecting them, and especially if you are having fertility problems. Medical writer Margaret Nofziger answers women's questions on some of the finer points of tracking fertility.

Q: My temperature stays low for about 50 days, then it gets higher for only 12 days. Am I ovulating?

A: Probably. You sometimes have long cycles of 60 days. It is taking a long time for your follicles to get enough hormone stimulus to ovulate, about 50 days.

But if your temperature does eventually go

up, then you are ovulating, and, if all else is

normal, you can conceive.

You can see that in a 50 or 60 day cycle, it

would be easy to miss having intercourse at

ovulation. Watch your mucus for signs of

approaching fertility.

Q: In one cycle, my temperature rose, but in two other months, it didn't. What is happening?

A: If this happens regularly, you might only be ovulating every few months. It will be more difficult to conceive but, we hope, not impossible.

Q: I have lots of fertile-looking mucus late in my cycle, after ovulation seems to be over. It starts about a week to 10 days past my ovulation mucus. Am I possibly ovulating twice?

A: No, you are not ovulating twice in one cycle, unless it is within a few hours with fraternal twins. That fertile-looking mucus late in your cycle is a result of hormonal changes leading to your period.

Your basal body temperature may also fall

right before your period. The hormone that

keeps your BBT high and your mucus scant

starts to fade a day or two before your


Q: My temperature jumps around quite a bit in the first part of my cycle, before ovulation. Once I ovulate, it gets high and stays there, but I wonder about that first part.

A: It is quite all right for your temperature to be a little wild in the early segment of your cycle. Some women's temperatures stay low at this time, and some jump around. But you will find out, in general, that the temperatures before ovulation are lower than those after ovulation.

Q: I get a lot of mucus before I have intercourse, after I've been dry all day. Is this fertile mucus ?

A: It may be fertile mucus from your cervix, or it may be from the lubricating glands right inside your vagina.

If you check your mucus when you are ready

to have intercourse, it may be the local

lubricating mucus. But if you check before

you are even thinking about having intercourse

and it is wet and slippery, it is probably fertile

mucus from your cervix.

If there is any doubt, go ahead and have


Q: I am very regular with my menstrual cycle. Does this mean I am ovulating.?

A: You cannot tell by your regularity. You can have a period every 26 to 29 days and not ovulate.

If you have cramps and a heavy flow, you are

more likely to be ovulating. An anovulatory

cycle (a cycle without ovulation) often results

in a light, painless period. However, many

women who do ovulate have scant periods.

The only way really to tell is to keep a basal

temperature chart. A biphasic curve (low

early, high later) is evidence of probable

ovulation. A flat curve usually is indicative of

an anovulatory cycle.

Q: My cycles vary a lot in length. The last eight have been 30 days, 27, 25, 32, 34, 26, 32, and 28 days,- respectively. Is this a problem.?

A: No. It is quite normal for the cycles to vary as yours do. Most women have some variation in their cycle length. The "every 28 days" woman is the exception, not the rule. This has nothing to do with your fertility.

Q: My husband had a sperm count done, and it was 25 million. …

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